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The type of trust can determine trust management

When people think about creating a trust, they may automatically think about leaving sums of money to kids and determining how to ensure that those funds are spent appropriately. The truth is that there are many types of trust funds and trust management options from which Michigan families may choose. The type of trust a family decides to create will depend on that family's unique circumstances.

The idea of leaving a specified amount to each child may not sit well with some families, and it may be a bad idea for some overall. There are generation-skipping trusts for those who do not wish to leave directly to children but want to ensure that grandchildren reap certain rewards from acquired wealth. Some beneficiaries, such as children with special needs, may need more funding compared to other family members. A special needs trust may be set up to care for that child or beneficiary for the long-term.

Digital assets can be part of an estate plan for Michigan folks

There are many factors and assets that need to be considered as part of any comprehensive estate plan. Today, technology plays more of a role in daily life than many may ever consider. Because of the importance and reliance on technology, it is becoming more important to incorporate digital assets into an estate plan. Michigan families who already have an estate plan in place may want to consider revisiting the plan to incorporate provisions specifically for digital assets.

Anyone who has email accounts and social media accounts may want to think about the fate of those accounts. These accounts have passwords. Divulging these passwords as part of a secure estate-planning document may be necessary, and it may also be necessary to outline what the fate of these accounts should be, such as deleting them or not.

An estate plan is a smart New Year's resolution

When people sit down at the end of the year to evaluate their lives or decide on resolutions, creating estate plans may not automatically come to mind. Even so, the New Year is the perfect time to take stock of assets, funds and life choices and to create an estate plan that will ensure the protection of those assets and the family in general. Michigan families may want to think about the various benefits of creating or updating an existing estate plan sooner rather than later.

One of the best reasons to avoid delaying the creation of an estate plan is that a comprehensive plan will save money in the long run. The probate process can be costly, not to mention time consuming. If the plan is handled correctly, the time and money lost to the probate process can be eliminated.

An estate plan should reflect a family's unique situation

The day of the traditional family being the majority may be coming to a close. Today, American families come in all sorts of varieties and combinations, and an estate plan should reflect the individuality and uniqueness of a family in today's modern world. Michigan families may want to consider the following issues when considering creating an estate plan to meet their modern needs.

One common issue faced by modern couples is the blended family that results from divorce and remarriage. When a man or woman remarries, he or she needs to ensure that the beneficiaries listed on retirement accounts and life insurance policies, and those named in a will, reflect his or her current situation. Failure to update beneficiaries can result in a current spouse losing out on inheritance intended for him or her.

A trust can provide asset protection for Michigan families

When it comes to time decide estate planning details and strategies, there are a wide range of options for the modern family to implement. Michigan families should realize that not all estate plan options work for every family and an individualized approach may be helpful. One tool many find to be helpful is the creation of a trust as means of managing how assets are distributed among beneficiaries.

A trust is a popular estate planning option for a number of reasons. One main reason is the flexibility offered by a trust, as the stipulations that can be applied are endless and really give a family freedom. A trust can also include assets in addition to cash, such as real estate and life insurance policies.

Digital assets need to be included in an estate plan

As the world changes and technology evolves, that technology needs to be dealt with in ways that some innovators may have never imagined. One area of concern when it comes to technology is how digital assets are handled when a person passes. Because of how much the Internet has permeated daily life for Michigan families, including digital assets in an estate plan is something nearly everyone must think about.

Nowadays, people have valuable family information, including secret recipes and photos, all online. Remote accounts and clouds may contain items or pictures that can be lost forever if someone simply doesn't have a password. Including passwords and appointing a digital executor to control these assets is just as important as it is for physical assets.

Beware of loss of control in an estate plan

Creating an estate plan can be an overwhelming and emotional journey. For some, outlining the division of assets or funds can pose unique complications. Anyone in Michigan who is involved in creating an estate plan may want to carefully consider his or her options before relinquishing control of any aspect of his or her life.

Many people decide to sign over a house or property to an heir early on in the estate planning process. This is often seen as a way to avoid dealing with the tax implications of leaving the property to heirs through a will or having a home tied up in the time-consuming process that is probate. However, signing over a home while still living in it, and while still in possession of the ability to make important decisions, can backfire, leaving a perfectly competent person without the legal right to make decisions that directly impact his or her life.

Avoid making estate plan mistakes through proper planning

When it comes to life lessons, there are a few lessons to be learned from the lives of certain celebrities. There are also lessons about what not to do based on mistakes exhibited in the estate plans of the rich and famous. While each and every estate plan is unique, as unique as the Michigan family involved, there are easy ways to avoid making mistakes that are similar to some brought to light by the passing of celebrities.

The recent passing of Robin Williams exposed a mistake in how he prepared for his passing and kept up with his estate planning responsibilities. The Hollywood star created trusts to provide for his children's futures, which is a recommended way to leave money behind that allows the amounts and terms to remain private. However, one of the trustees he named was deceased, which meant a court petition needed to be filed by the surviving trustee, resulting in the details of the trust being made public.

Proactive tips for an estate plan in Michigan

Creating an estate plan typically involves drafting, signing and filing a few key documents. While this is an important part of the process, there are other recommended steps for creating an estate plan. Michigan families may be interested in the following tips and ideas, if they are in the midst of the process of simply beginning to think about creating an estate plan.

An estate plan determines the fate of funds that go far beyond what is in the bank. Everything from life insurance policies and 401(k) plans are at stake. It is vital to designate proper beneficiaries for each. If a person discovers that a beneficiary is listed who is no longer preferred, that person should act to change the beneficiary sooner rather than later. Keeping careful records and letting family members know who beneficiaries are is also recommended.

Estate planning can include what kind of legacy to leave behind

Estate planning often revolves around who will get an inheritance and who won't. The question of how much money and what assets to leave to whom is an essential part of the estate planning process for Michigan families. However, families have recently begun to think about what else they leave behind for the next generation, namely what their legacy will be.

Many people who set out to create an estate plan find it difficult to justify simply leaving money. For some, it is a question of whether leaving bulk funds to a person is a benefit for them in the long run or possibly detrimental. For example, leaving a recovering or active addict a large sum of money may not be wise and may not help a person preserve the family's legacy.

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